Jess Impiazzi. London born Model and Actress. She is known for films The Seven, The Tombs and Ria. She is the ambassador for Many may know Jess from being a finalist on Celebrity Big Brother; ‘The Year of the Woman’ series. Prior to that she also appeared on on MTV’s Ex on the Beach and The only way is Essex. However there is way more to model and actress Jess then reality TV. We at Those London Chicks are so pleased to chat with Jess and find out more.
Many may know you from reality TV. But you trained as an actress at Italia Conte. Unfortunately you had to leave before graduating. Tell us about that?
Yes I was always such a little performer growing up! Always dancing acting and singing.
I had been in a few television commercials by the time I was five. I knew what I wanted to be from a really young age. I started off at the Italia Conti Saturday school in Guildford and knew I wanted to do it full time so at 13 I sent off audition forms to the full time London school in the Barbican. I did this without even telling my mum so she was pretty shocked when I ended up getting an audition date through the post.
I got in to the school and then went on to get a full scholarship in to the three year performing arts course. Unfortunately I didn’t get to graduate, we had a few horrid things happen in the family, my nephew died of meningitis and I was with him the whole time and six month after that my mum lost her eyesight. All of this happening lead me to quite a horrid depression and my mum needed my help, so I had to make the decision to leave Italia Conti and my scholarship.
Did you always dream of being an actress as growing up or were there other ambitions?
I think I was pretty set from day one to be an actress, I never wanted to be or do anything else! I used to make my little cousins dress up as elves and I’d direct and star in little shows over Christmas to show the family! I’d been doing that since I can remember!
What was your deciding factor to sign up for a reality show?
I think after leaving Italia Conti, I was struggling to get an agent, i really had nothing going for me and I was really loosing myself and my dreams were slipping away. An opportunity came up to do a reality show and I really had nothing to loose at that point. I wasn’t in the best place and at the time.
As an actress myself, I know there are aspects of the ‘business’ that are not inclusive. Have you found there were any elements of ‘judgement’. If so how have you dealt with it?
I think doing the reality TV made it super hard for people to take me seriously as an actress. People think they personally know you from reality television and like to judge you on anything they can. Social media has given a platform to trolls and that can be quite horrid. I’ve been lucky though as I rarely get trolled. I think I hadn’t done enough reality television for me to be a big target.
Since leaving the Big Brother House you became an instantly recognizable face. How was that for you?
It was odd! I think at first I was full of anxiety about it because it was a lot to take in, that’s died down now and I do prefer it like this. I don’t feel on edge and I’m able to really focus on myself and my acting. I still go to classes I read as many acting technique books as possible so the element of being recognised isn’t really there anymore. It occasionally happens and obviously the press still take pictures when I’m at events, but I’m really excited to be focusing on my dream again and hopefully be recognised for my acting ability now.
Your acting career has got off to a flying start. You have been up to so many fantastic projects. Three films; tell us about them?
So In order, I had a really exciting project which got me back to my dreams. This was a horror film called “the tombs” I had a small role in this but it gave me the confidence to know I can still live my dreams! The tombs was actually filmed in the London tombs and I think some parts of filming that I didn’t even have to act because I was genuinely terrified filming down there! It was all night shoots so that added to the fear! That should be out very soon actually!
After Celebrity Big Brother I ended up landing a movie produced by Dean Cain called the Seven, I had one of the lead roles in this and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of filming. Again this is a horror film based in a college where things start going terribly wrong for seven friends who get locked in the college. This was an amazing project and I got to work with some awesome young actors and made some amazing friends.
From “The Seven” I was offered a lead role in a movie called “RIA” this is a sci-fi movie and I was the part of RIA. I was starring alongside Luke Goss, Dean Cain and Kimberly Wyatt. It was amazing to work with such talented actors who have been in some incredible movies and tv series. I took this opportunity to learn as much as I could from them. Working with people who had been in the industry so long and who had worked on some amazing projects was great. I felt like it helped lift my acting abilities too.
Congratulations. Exciting! When will be able to see them?
The Tombs should be very soon actually! I think within the next few months.
This is a hard one… top 3 films and why?
Ohh very hard one! There so many for so many different moods!
I’ve always loved “GoodFellas” I do love a good mafia movie and I think they captured it great! Same with the Godfather.
A great comedy I’m obsessed with is “meet the parents” and the whole trilogy of those movies are fantastic.
I love Robert De Nero, his character in those movies is just perfect and he makes those movies fantastic.
I also love Erin Brockovich. Firstly because Julia Roberts is my absolute idol, I think she is fantastic. It’s a great feel good movie proving you can beat the odds! And what’s better is it’s a true story! Again Julia’s character and how she portrays Erin is great! You warm to her but she’s also out to kick butt!
You go between London and LA, how is LA going or you?
I’m back in the UK for a while now, having meetings for new projects. I love being in LA and keeping up to date with what Indi film projects are floating about. It’s a great place, very magical for people in the movie and tv business! I’m always at universal studios ok the studio tour visualising me working down there. No matter how many times I go on the studio tour I still get crazy butterflies as we go round the sets and this feeling of total joy.
We at Those London Chicks are all about positive thought equals a positive outcome. What would be your ultimate dream professionally or personally?
I’m all about this too! What we think about is where our energy goes! I changed my mindset a lot to work for me rather than against me which I think a lot of people do without realising it.
Personally I just want to be happy and safe and spread love and kindness around as much as possible. Whatever comes with that that’s great. I don’t like to put pressure on my self of what a dream personal life would be because I don’t know what the universe has in store for me next. I’ve just turned 30 and when I was younger I always thought I’d have children by then, but instead I’m nearly divorced and things are very different to the plan I made, however I’m so so happy with how things are and how I’m turning my life around that I don’t need to have a plan for my personal life, because what will be will be.
Professionally I eat, sleep and drink anything to do with acting, I watch films I read books I go to class, I get scripts just to read to myself at home to practise how I would develop a character. So hopefully with always having that on my mind I will be kept as a working actress. If not I’ll still be doing my classes and reading my books because that way I’m still learning the craft and I can’t fail.
I’m also writing books, I have a very wild imagination so in my spare time i am writing a book. I don’t know what will come of it but I enjoy it so who knows where that could lead too!
Who or what are your inspirations and why?
My inspiration is just anyone who believes in them selves and in their dreams, people who have over come hardship and used their pain to channel themselves into something better!
What has been your crowning moment so far?
I think when I was cast as RIA knowing I’d be getting to act alongside Dean and Luke. That was pretty exciting. I knew that I was going to be challenged and forced to get out my comfort zone and step up and grow.
Jess giving back is clearly important to you. You are Ambassador for Guide Dogs. For those who may not know the charity, enlighten us?
Yes the guide dogs charity is hugely close to my heart. When my mum first lost her eyesight she was very scared to move anywhere, understandably, she lost all her confidence and it was so sad to watch.
Guide dogs train up these amazing animals to literally become the persons eyes. They stop them from walking in to any hazards and have their independence back. Mum can now go to the shops or walk to her friends houses or anything she wants to do and is able to get there safely, the charity and these dogs literally give people their lives back!
Jess you fit a lot into your life. When I met you at The Pink Ribbon Foundations celebration of women’s month. You had a leg injury and you were about to run (or walk) a half marathon for charity. Tell us about that and what you do for downtime?
Ha ha yes I actually had just run the London landmarks half marathon raising money for the guide dogs charity – I wore the wrong kind of trainers apparently and had a stress fracture on my foot so I was in the air boot for just Uber three weeks. I’m a very active person so that was driving me insane!
My downtime is often reading in a Epsom salts bath, I absolutely love to read! I really enjoy cooking and I also go to the gym about 6 times a week it helps me find balance and keep mental clarity.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Finally, what’s next for you?
I’ve just signed with a great manager, and there is a new project hopefully coming up for 2020 and other than that I shall continue to learn and grow as much as I can and keep on auditioning. You never know what’s around the corner.
Thank you so much Jess xx
Interviewed by Karen Bryson